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Trouble processing Milky Way shot

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by prophet, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Aug 10, 2014
    I recently took a shot of the Milky Way in Australia. I only had the Oly 9-18mm with me, which I know is not the best lens to shoot this scene.

    Still, the Milky Way is at least visible. But I am struggling to get a decent picture in post. I open the raw file in Darktable, and I see a lot of red and blue and other coloured stars. Is that noise?

    Also struggling to find the right white balance setting, so the colours and nebula in the Milky Way become visible. I checked some tutorials, but that didn't really get my anywhere.

    I uploaded the raw file; if anybody has the time to take a quick look and give me some advice on how to make a nice picture out of this, I would be very grateful!
     
  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I'll have a better shot at this when I get home and can use DxO with better noise reduction, here's a quick and dirty iPad edit. The splotchy colour you see is a lot of chroma noise throughout the image. You're best off masking the foreground and processing that separately, and fiddling around with white balance, curves (global and seperate RGB channels), and adding some contrast (make the dark darker and colours brighter). I'm only starting to learn Milky Way pp, it's not easy with single images.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1442225463.364527.
     
  3. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    P8110189-as-Smart-Object-1.

    With the amount some channels are being pushed (it's been pushed 3-4EV globally, more in localized areas due to white balance shift) some channels are falling apart and starting to show bit depth artifacts (blue channel in the lower half of the sky, red channel in the top half).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Your composition is superb!

    Two main problems I saw:
    1) Not enough light - f/4, ISO3200, 25s, stars already starting to trail. Noise, both luminance and chroma, is the result. Stacking multiple shots (with alignment) to reduce noise could help quite a bit here.
    2) Light pollution(?) Something is making the bottom foreground slightly warmer in colour, an effect typical with light pollution. Then again stars are visible all the way down to the horizon, which suggests no light pollution. A graduated white balance adjustment solves this easily enough.

    Here's a quick edit, I've included the XMP conversion settings (should work with LR or ACR). Localised editing is the key with most Milky Way shots.
    P8110189.

    Code:
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    • Like Like x 1
  5. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Aug 10, 2014
    Smokes, that looks pretty good. Thanks!

    1) As said, it was the only lens I had with me, but I thought I'd rather take this shot than none. It was my first time shooting the Milky Way, so I was not aware of the stacking method, might have been a good idea.
    2) It was in the middle of the desert (Kings Canyon, Australia), so virtually no light polution. But there were some houses to the left of the pictures, that's were the orangy light comes from.

    I guess I have to buy Lightroom after all. So far, I used Darktable and it worked fine for me. Any idea if that result could be achieved with Darktable? Or is DT simply not was good as LR?
     
  6. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    634
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    You could do it with DT. I used DT for 2 years and did some milky way stuff. This shot does have a lot of noise. I shot iso 3200 the other night and it wasn't this bad. Was it warm outside? What body did you use?
     
  7. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Aug 10, 2014
    Any advice how to achieve such a result with DT?

    I shot with an E-PL7, and it was not very warm outside, maybe 15-ish degrees.
    Hmmm ..
     
  8. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Having never used Dark Table, I'm not really qualified to say. From a quick glance online it looks fairly advanced, so I'd say it's probably fine for global conversion settings. Where LR/ACR really shines is its adjustment graduated filters and brushes that let you apply and mask WB, NR, clarity, black level, etc locally. Does Dark Table allow such things?
     
  9. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    634
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    Yes it does. Actually I miss the DT masking because it works with all it's modules unlike lightroom. But I wasnt a huge fan of it's highlight recovery or NR.
     
  10. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    634
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    It came out better than I expected. Just LR5
    v3BETNrh.


    edit: I dont like the WB but if I spent another 30 seconds I could fix that better
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015